Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s advice for Graduates who are Trying to Discern the Will of God

“This must be God’s will” is a phrase often used to cover all manner of sins. Misuse of the will-of-God-card notwithstanding, seeking divine guidance has always been an essential aspect of discipleship. My paradigm for how to discern God’s will isn’t comprised of three easy steps or a scripted process. I have no principles or guidelines to offer [Read More…]

A Fanatical Devotion to Death

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about what he termed: a fanatical devotion to death. He wrote, “When death is the end, then earthly life is everything or nothing.” I’ve been pondering those words this morning, and wondering: how many of us live with a fanatical devotion to death? What he means is that when we believe death is [Read More…]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Worry, Violence & Loving Our Enemies

Worry: “Do not worry! Earthly goods deceive the human heart into believing that they give it security and freedom from worry. But in truth, they are what cause anxiety. The heart which clings to goods receives with them the choking burden of worry. Worry collects treasures, and treasures produce more worries. We desire to secure [Read More…]

10 Great Quotes on Thanksgiving and Gratitude

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ― G.K Chesterton “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in [Read More…]

3 Myths About Calling: Why RELEVANT’s Take Falls Short

Let me start by confessing a pet peeve: I believe that the combined Jewish and Christian traditions express the most profound wisdom ever contemplated by human beings. This stuff is deep, and you really shouldn’t handle it with marketing in mind. So when someone—usually a pastor-slash-writer-slash-musician with an appealing headshot and a self-composed bio—attempts to [Read More…]

Advent: The Great Decrescendo (Advent 1B – Isaiah 64:1-9)

This was the message on the first Sunday of Advent, 2014 for Redemption Church. If you are a pastor feel free to copy & steal (w/attribution please!). You can listen to the message here.     Advent 1B – Isaiah 64:1-9 / Waiting “O, that you would tear open the heavens and come down.” Today [Read More…]

Resident Aliens, The Confessing Church, and Missional Communities

I am at Conception Abbey on retreat for a few days. This morning I pulled one of my old favorites and read for awhile. It’s not a stretch to say that the book Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas has had a tremendous influence upon my life. I’m not sure I’ve spent more time in one [Read More…]

Thinking More About Bonhoeffer

I’m up to my ears in a new book that I’m writing for Zondervan. It’s going to be called Shrink & I’m trying to make the case for faithfulness and virtue (over and against success & results), as the central leadership pursuits of those involved in ministry of any kind. As part of my writing I’m using [Read More…]

Christianity Versus Islam: Here’s One Way to Settle Things…

I’ve been thinking lately about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s speech at the Fano ecumenical church conference and his insistence that ecumenism could help stave off the war he saw coming. As it turns out, Bonhoeffer was right about the war. Even if the ecumenical efforts of the Christians could could not keep a predominantly Christian Western Europe [Read More…]

The Top Ten Books Every Christian Should Read: my required reading list for life

I have been thinking about the ten books every Christian should read. I’ve been composing the list in my head, and it’s harder than you think. You need qualifiers. Here are mine: broad subject range, deep but not obscure, non-fiction (with one exception), focused on discipleship and the Christian story, fit more in the theological [Read More…]